Testimonial | When is a Sunday in the countryside without noise?

Having lived in Montreal for more than 20 years, I have never had to suffer from noise pollution as has been the case for many years in Sutton.

On the one hand, there were no helicopter-noise mowers in my neighborhood which, like here, can be heard even on Saturdays and Sundays at happy hour, supper and even in the evening; on the other hand, Sundays were relatively quiet because of the reduction in traffic and also because, in general, they respected an old Quebec tradition which consists in considering Sunday as a day of rest.

And despite everything, I decided to leave the city largely because the overall noise level had become unbearable to me.

So I find it hard to understand that many rural residents, whether from the community or elsewhere, show no sensitivity or respect towards their neighbours.

Of course, I’m not talking about the farmers who, in my humble opinion, are the only ones who have the right to make noise when necessary. I’m talking about the many “me, me, me, my lawn and my machinery” who don’t seem to care about being a good neighbor.

What an illusion to have thought that by coming to live in the country, I would be more peaceful there! In Sutton, no municipal by-law protects citizens’ Sunday tranquility, with the exception of a prohibition applying to residential construction work. It now seems obvious to me that noise, which is the second largest source of pollution in the country, is the least of the concerns of local elected officials. If, as evidenced by a recent study, noise threatens the hearing health of 1 billion young people, what about its impact on the psychological health of the general population?

Who, apart from a few academics, cares about the harmful effects of noise on the physical and psychological health of citizens? In Geneva, for example, the municipal authorities thus protect their quality of life: “The use of a lawnmower (and chainsaw) is authorized only from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., on Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., and outside public holidays. ” Here, A Sunday in the countryside is nothing more than the memory of a beautiful film imbued with nostalgia. Who will dare to bring the “noise makers” to heel?

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